Chase your dream no matter what says disabled swimmer Mogale

Paralympics hopeful Sibusiso Mogale, 28, who beat the odds and survived three suicide attempts, released his book titled Success Stories Untold this week. Photo: Mandla Khoza
Paralympics hopeful Sibusiso Mogale, 28, who beat the odds and survived three suicide attempts, released his book titled Success Stories Untold this week. Photo: Mandla Khoza

After three attempts to take his life because he believed he was worthless, swimmer Sibusiso Mogale, is a now shining star even though he was born without hands.

The 28-year-old from Mpumalanga was rejected by schools in Ngodini near White River, Mpumalanga, where he was born, because of his disability.

Instead, Mogale had to go to the Helena Franz Special School in Bochum, Limpopo.

He later went to Johannesburg with the help of his grandmother - a traditional healer - for his high school education.

After high school, Mogale enrolled for a sports management diploma at the University of Johannesburg.

He has represented South Africa in swimming in countries such as Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and Thailand, among others.

On Wednesday, Mogale launched his biography, Success Stories Untold, in Mbombela, where he also signed autographs. The book was written by Rolihlahla Ndlovu.

"Life has been fairly difficult for our family. I was brought up by my unemployed mother with the help of my grandmother.

"I was turned away by a number of schools for able-bodied pupils in my area.

"My grandmother had to find a way for me to start school in Limpopo," Mogale said.

He continued: "Due to my financial difficulties, I had to focus on my sporting career, which was demanding, and also work to support myself."

Mogale is now training for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics where he hopes to do well.

"Having represented the country in numerous swimming events, my plan now is to represent the country in the 2020 Paralympics.

"I know that will be possible because I want to contribute positively to the country," he said.

Mogale, who besides having no arms, drives a standard-gear Mercedes Benz, said he finds encouragement from his own difficult upbringing.

"I've worked for an insurance company, the government and now I work as an administrator at Transnet's electrical department," he said.

Mogale said he wanted to encourage other people to improve themselves by looking at his life.

"I had to fight very hard to be where I am today. People must pursue their dreams.

"When I was young, I tried to kill myself on several occasions.

"I drank poison, ate poisonous fruit and tried other ways in a bid to kill myself," he recalled.

Mogale, who is planning to pay lobola for his girlfriend next month, revealed that he has had to search for his long-lost father.

"I grew up without my father. I never knew him but my mother told me to search for him. When I found him he was in prison.

"I told him that he has to play the role of a father during my lobolo negotiations. Fortunately, he is out of prison now and will help in my lobolo negotiations," he added.

newsdesk@sowetan.co.za

Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

X